Philadephia, Police Arrive at a Contract

Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Author: Jeff Shields and Marcia Gelbart

12/19/2009 - A five-year police contract awarded by an independent arbitration panel yesterday delivers what Mayor Nutter called "unprecedented" long-term reforms on benefits, but comes at a steep price in short-term raises and ends a residency rule aimed at stabilizing the city's middle class.

In a decision that could set the bar for the city's three other major municipal unions without contracts, police officers will receive 7 percent raises over the course of the next three years and can negotiate for further raises in the last two years of the pact. That will cost the city $114 million for the next five years.

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[T]he pension changes appear to offer more financial benefits – officials estimate about $190 million in savings over 30 years – than structural alteration, according to Larry Eichel, project director of the Philadelphia Research Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts, which authored a report this year on the city's challenges in controlling costs.

Read the full article Philadephia, Police Arrive at a Contract on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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